WanderfulSoul founder and MICHI Brand Ambassador Vitina Blumenthal is an expert in yoga, mindful living and lighting up every room she walks in to. Based on a peek at her iCal, her expertise extends to carefully checking off every to-do during the holiday season, while always keeping her cool. She sat down with us and shared her top tips for staying calm and relieving stress during the whirlwind of shopping until the last minute and soirée packed calendars.
1. Carve out YOU-time.
“Stress during the holiday season often results from neglecting yourself. It is a lot of pressure to always be on and we can find ourselves asking, ‘When am I going to fit in time for myself?’. I need alone time to decompress during the holidays. I need to make time where I can read, or write, or get out in nature. Find time to do something alone that you love.”
2. Recruit your inner wisdom.
“Listen to that inner wisdom that you have. Listen to what you need and what you feel. For example, with yoga, sometimes the practice is not to be a physical one. If say, you’re always on the go and then take a power or Vinyasa flow class, it will distract you but it may not help relax your mind. Try a restorative class. Even though some people find it boring, it’s probably because your mind needs to slow down a little bit more.”
3. Hide your phone.
“When you’re at a holiday party, put your phone in your purse or in the host’s laundry room to be present and have amazing conversations. If your phone is constantly buzzing in your back pocket, you’re not being present and you can lose a lot of beautiful and precious moments. Mindfulness is being present, being in the moment and having that connection with others. You can get a natural high on life from a connection with someone else.”
4. Exercise your breath.
“Come back to your breath in a stressful moment. If you’re going to take on the role of a party host, let go of how the night might pan out and, if you’re feeling really overwhelmed, resort back to your breath. One of my favorite breathing exercises is a 2-1-4 count method. Inhale for the count of two, hold for the count of one, and exhale for the count of four. It tricks your mind that you are relaxed. Your shoulders relax and there is a release in the back of your neck.”
5. Shed expectations.
“Let go of the thought that you need to be happy through it all. Give yourself permission to feel however you’re going to feel that day and know that feeling is going to pass. Learning this took a lot of pressure off of me in my journey because I felt that there were expectations of me to be happy all the time. You don’t need to be happy all the time.”
Be loving to yourself, be actively present around others and practice acceptance in what you cannot change to stay calm and stress-free during the holiday season.
How do you keep calm during the holiday season? Tag #MoveWithMichi